• Registration for film submissions for the 2021 Christian Worldview Film Festival will open on September 15th, 2020.
  • Film submission deadline is November 2nd, 2020. Films must be uploaded to the servers by this date.
  • Film submission fees are $50 for films under 30 minutes in length and $75 for films over 30 minutes in length
  • The 2021 Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild are scheduled to be held in Hendersonville, TN, between February and April of 2021.

Thank you for your interest in submitting your film to the Christian Worldview Film Festival. The goal of this festival is to encourage Christian filmmakers to pursue excellence in their craft of filmmaking while communicating truth through a solid Biblical worldview. The Festival provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your work while networking with others in the industry.

The Christian Worldview Film Festival is looking for submissions from a wide variety of genres and categories including: Narrative Feature Films, Documentary Films, Short Films, Young Filmmakers, Promotional Media (Promotional Videos, Commercials, Film Trailers), Music Videos, Missions Awareness, and Sanctity of Life Films. These should be produced with a distinct Christian worldview. This does not mean that every film is expected to present a gospel message but that each subject, and the way it is handled, should be evidently informed by the filmmakers understanding of Biblical principles. Productions should reflect a solid foundation for the following: subject matter, good discernment and discretion in presentation, excellence in production, great storytelling, redemptive and edifying themes, building good character, persuasive and insightful documentaries or promotionals. This yearly festival is a family friendly event so we will be prioritizing films that are appropriate for all ages. We will thoughtfully consider films that are not appropriate for younger viewers but selections in this category will be limited.

If you think your film is in general alignment with the purposes and vision of the Festival, please read the following Rules and Regulations to ensure that your film has every opportunity to excel at the Festival.

By submitting a film (hereafter called the “Film”) to Christian Worldview Film Festival (hereafter called the “Festival”) the Filmmaker acknowledges that he or she has obtained all necessary rights and consent and has read and understood the Festival rules and regulations for submitting a Film listed below.

Table of Contents:

Section I: Rules and Regulations
Section II: Technical Submission Guidelines
Section III: Film Submission Categories
Section IV: Award Categories
Section V: Film Submission Considerations


Section I: Rules and Regulations

1) Films must be completed after January 1st, 2018, to be eligible for the 2021 Festival.

2) It is the sole responsibility of the Filmmaker to secure authorization and permission from the copyright owners for any and all copyrighted or trademarked content. The Festival will not be held liable for any unauthorized use of copyrighted or trademarked materials and reserves the right to disqualify any Film for copyright or trademark infringement.

3) By submitting a Film to the Festival, the Filmmaker agrees to allow the Film to be screened at the Festival and to allow short portions of the Film to be used by the Festival for promotional purposes.

4) Filmmakers must fill out a submission form and all fees must be paid before the deadline for a film to be eligible for the festival.  Submission fees will not be refunded if a Film is disqualified or not selected to be shown at the Festival. Submission fees are $50 for films under 30 minutes and $75 for films over 30 minutes.

5) Late entries will be accepted until November 2nd, 2020. Late submission fees are $100 for films under 30 minutes and $150 for films over 30 minutes.

6) All Films must be submitted according to the guidelines listed in Section II: Submission Guidelines and must be uploaded by the deadline to qualify.  Submission deadline is November 2nd, 2020 or December 2nd, 2020 if registering as a late entry.

7) Films will be selected based on excellence in their work and alignment with the Festival guidelines and objectives as explained in Section V: Film Submission Considerations.

8) Filmmakers may submit multiple Films, however, each Film must be accompanied by its own entrance fee and submission form.

9) Once the Films have been reviewed and the selection process is complete, Filmmakers will be notified using the contact information included in the submission form.  It is the sole responsibility of the Filmmaker to insure that the Festival has the necessary and correct contact information.

10) The Festival is under no obligation to provide feedback on individual Films or on the selection process. Due to the number of films typically submitted and the time our judges have available, we are not able to provide feedback on individual films.

11) Films that contain significant non-English dialogue must include English subtitles.

12) If your Film contains content that is not suitable for younger viewers, Filmmaker must identify this in their submission form.

13) We strongly encourage you or a representative of the Film to be in attendance at the Festival to receive any potential awards. Please notify us ahead of time if this is not possible. If no representative is present to receive the award, Film will not be eligible for any cash prize associated with the award.

14) Judges will present awards as outlined in Section IV: Award Categories. Judges reserve the right to not grant a category award if none of the submissions meets the criteria for that category.

15) Judges reserve the right to present additional awards not outlined in Section IV: Award Categories.

16) We receive a large number of submissions each year and not every film will be selected. If your Film is not selected, Filmmaker agrees to accept the decisions made by the judges gracefully and to not slander or belittle the Festival or other entries.

Section II: Technical Submission Guidelines

Please read the following guidelines carefully to ensure that your film is not rejected due to technical issues. The submission deadline is Monday, October 2nd, 2020.

1) Filmmakers must upload a digital copy of their Film to our secure Dropbox server by the deadline for submissions. A file request link will be provided to each Filmmaker upon receipt of your submission application for uploading all files. The file guidelines are below.

2) Recommended film submission specifications: HD 1080p QuickTime video (MOV, MP4 or M4V – H.264 Mezzanine file at a bitrate of 10-20Mbps), 23.98 FPS, Progressive (non-interlaced), All films will be shown in 1920×1080. Films with other aspect ratios should be exported in a 1920×1080 frame, with appropriate crop bars. Please name your file the exact name of your Film. Do not include version numbers or anything other than the title of your Film!

3) Filmmakers must provide 2-3 (1920×1080 pixel dimension) screenshots of their Film in their submission for use if the Film becomes an official selection. The screenshots are to be uploaded with the Film. Please name your files “[Name of your Film] Picture 1” and “[Name of your Film] Picture 2” and so forth.

4) Filmmaker must provide two film clips that are 15 seconds each in their submission for the awards ceremony (if you are a finalist) and for promotional purposes.  The first clip should represent the thrust of your film (for the awards ceremony) and the second clip should be one of the most visually compelling or notable scenes in your film (for promotional purposes). Please use the encoding guidelines above. Please name your files “[Name Of Your Film] Clip 1” and “[Name Of Your Film] Clip 2”. The clips are to be uploaded with the Film.

5) If your Film is not able to be encoded with the above specifications or you have other issues with the upload process please contact us through the website and we will do what we can to assist you.

6) Each Film submitted should begin with a black screen (for one second) and then the Film should immediately start without any further delay. Please, do not include any trailers or special introductions.

7) Audio should be mastered in stereo sound.

8) We will confirm receipt of films uploaded by e-mail correspondence. If you do not receive the email, please check your spam folder, or contact us through the website.

9) A one or two sentence logline and a Film synopsis of no more than 120 words must be submitted with the application. This will be used to promote the Film if it becomes an official selection.

10) All entry lengths are calculated from black to black, and must include all opening and closing credits, logos, etc.

11) The application fee is non-refundable.

Section III: Film Submission Categories

Films can be submitted to the Festival in the categories listed below. Awards will be given for the best of each category as well as additional awards that are listed in Section IV: Award Categories.

Feature Film
Dramatic or comedic, live-action or animated narrative
◦ 30 – 120 minutes*
◦ Narratives must be a complete work, not a compilation of a series

Feature Documentary
◦ Nonfiction or docudrama
◦ 30 -120 minutes in length*
◦ Recordings of live presentations will NOT be accepted

Short Documentary
◦ Nonfiction or docudrama
◦ Less than 30 minutes in length*
◦ Recordings of live presentations will NOT be accepted

Short Film
◦ Dramatic or comedic narrative
◦ Less than 30 minutes in length*

Music Videos
◦ Any musical genres will be acceptable being mindful of the film submission considerations outlined in Section V.
◦ Song lyrics must be uploaded with the Music Video.

Short Animated Films
◦ Dramatic or comedic narrative
◦ Nonfiction, docudrama
◦ Less than 30 minutes in length*

Promotional Media & Commercials
◦ Less than 30 minutes in length
◦ Documentary or narrative style; live-action or animated
◦ Corporate, political, community, or non-profit promotional video
◦ Commercials spots must be exactly 15, 30, or 60 seconds in length. Filmmaker must own rights or have permission to submit a Commercial.
◦ Film Trailers. No more than 180 seconds in length. The Film that the trailer is created for does not have to be an official selection in the Festival but it must comply with the worldview considerations expressed in Section V.

Young Filmmakers
◦ Dramatic or comedic narrative; live-action or animated
◦ Nonfiction, docudrama; live-action or animated
◦ Produced or Directed by young filmmakers 17 years of age and under at the time of Film’s Completion
◦ Young Filmmakers Films should be registered according to the Film’s appropriate submission category (e.g. Feature Film, Documentary, Short Film, etc.)
◦ Length Suggestion: The shorter your Film the more likely it will be considered

* On occasion films can be hard to categorize based on length alone. The Festival reserves the right to determine the category of a film, regardless of its length, as a Short or Feature length submission if they feel it better suits the Film to be categorized as such.  The Festival may also choose to create a separate category for narrative films that are difficult to place as either Short Films or Feature Films.

Section IV: Award Categories

The Festival is pleased to offer the following awards:

1. Best Narrative Feature Film
2. Best Documentary
3. Best Short Film
4. Young Filmmakers Award
5. Best Promotional Media
6. Best Music Video
7. Best Gospel Presentation
8. Audience Choice Award
9. Sanctity of Life Award
10. Missions Awareness Award

Monetary prizes will be based on sponsor support.  The Festival may choose not to grant a category award if none of the submissions meets the criteria for that category.  The Festival may choose to offer additional awards not listed above.  Additional awards given in the past include: Best Animated Film, Best Children’s Film, Best Original Music Score, Best Film Trailer, and Best Inspirational Short Film.


Section V: Film Submission Considerations

The Christian Film Foundation and Media Talk 101, the organizers of the Festival, want to encourage media discernment based on Biblical principles both for the viewer as well as the content creators. In his epistle, James warns us, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” The following slogan from Media Talk 101 about media is helpful to understand how the judges of the Festival will apply James’ words to your Film:

Every song is a sermon,
Every movie is a message,
Every TV is a teacher,
Every word a weapon,
And a picture is worth a thousand words.

Another principle from the Scriptures is found in Proverbs 12:18, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” The films you produce can do harm if you are careless with this very sharp tool of communication. On the other hand, if you handle this tool with wisdom it can be a tremendous blessing to others. Use the following questions to judge for yourself how your project might be judged.

1. Do You Understand Worldview?

Dr. David Noebel answers that question by stating, “A worldview is nothing more and nothing less than a bundle of ideas.” Where have you acquired your “bundle of ideas?” If you have spent more time in front of the TV or sitting in theaters than you have spent studying God’s Word, it will be reflected in your films. The Bible won’t help you learn how to follow focus, set up lighting, or choose the right camera lens, but it will give you the right foundation for presenting the right ideas through your projects. We believe that it is imperative for Christians to be saturated in Scripture in order for your bundle of ideas to manifest a truly Christian worldview in your film productions.

2. Do You Love God?

Jesus said in Mark 12:30 that the greatest commandment was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” That certainly includes your filmmaking as well. Does your film reflect your love for God? Most non-Christian filmmakers craft a world where God does not exist. Let that not be the case in Christian filmmaking.

Avoiding Profanity – the word “profane” can only be understood correctly in the context of something that is considered holy or set apart. When you treat something that is holy in a common or degrading way, you are profaning it. This certainly includes using God’s name in a profane way but it doesn’t end there. Another example from Hebrews 13:4 says, “…marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” You should never profane the sanctity of marriage. Consider the following criteria that were included in Hollywood’s 1930 Motion Picture Production Code…

“The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld. Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing…”

“Even within the limits of pure love, certain facts have been universally regarded by lawmakers as outside the limits of safe presentation. In the case of impure love, the love which society has always regarded as wrong and which has been banned by divine law, the following are important: 1. Impure love must not be presented as attractive and beautiful. 2. It must not be the subject of comedy or farce, or treated as material for laughter. 3. It must not be presented in such a way to arouse passion or morbid curiosity on the part of the audience. 4. It must not be made to seem right and permissible. 5. In general, it must not be detailed in method and manner.”

NOTE: We do not commend every aspect of The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 but we do recommend that filmmakers read the entire code.

3. Do You Love Your Neighbor?

Jesus also taught in Mark 12:31 that the second most important commandment is that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Your love for others must be defined by God’s Word. One way that your filmmaking can demonstrate a love for others is by not exposing them to content that would be considered obscene.

Obscene – The word comes from ancient Greek theatre. It is derived from the phrase ob skene, which literally means “off-stage.” Certain elements of a story (i.e. violence or sex) were to be implied “off-stage,” not acted out for the audience on the stage. Though we are not applauding Greek plays, they had some sense of propriety in not exposing the audience to obscenities. This concept was also present in the 1930 Production Code when comparing
written material to film…

“The latitude given to film material cannot, in consequence, be as wide as the latitude given to book material. …a book describes; a film vividly presents. One presents on a cold page; the other by apparently living people… a book reaches the mind through words merely; a film reaches the eyes and ears through the reproduction of actual events… the reaction of a reader to a book depends largely on the keenness of the reader’s imagination; the reaction to a film depends on the vividness of presentation. Hence many things which might be described or suggested in a book could not possibly be presented in a film.”

Authenticity? – In the name of ‘keeping it real’ some Christian filmmakers put a certain amount of immodesty, obscenity, or vulgarity in their Film. At the Festival, we will be looking for and awarding Filmmakers who put in the time and effort to find creative and careful ways of communicating the reality of a scene without defiling the audience. Showing restraint can enhance your storytelling when it involves dealing with a variety of real life issues. We will also be looking for Films that ‘keep it real’ by being bold with the message of Jesus Christ.

“No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.” -Motion Picture Production Code

4. Do You Love Truth?

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” and, “…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Those who are without Christ are confused about the subject of truth like Pilate who asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Consequently, those without truth are held captive to the philosophies and deceptions in the world and are in need of finding freedom. Your commitment to truth will be evident in your commitment to Jesus. We can draw wisdom from Philippians 4:8 which says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” As a filmmaker you should be asking yourself if your production is true to this list. These are the things your audience should be dwelling on as they invest their time and resources in your project.

5. Do You Love Family Friendly Films?

We do! We want to encourage Christian filmmakers to produce films that the entire family can watch together. The Festival will especially look for ways to promote healthy, age integrated entertainment that every member in the family can enjoy together again and again.

As Christians we deal with a lot of heavy issues in our culture and society. This is often reflected in our films. We recognize that there are some topics that need to be dealt with that are not appropriate for children, in those cases we will be looking for films that handle tough topics with discernment, creativity, and respect for the family, while nurturing a love for righteousness and a distaste for sin in the viewer. Sin must be shown for what it really is and truth and righteousness must be exalted: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” – Isaiah 5:20

6. Do You Hate Violence?

The Bible tells us that God hates it when people love violence. “The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.” (Psalm 11:5) God has portrayed violent stories in the Scriptures. Each story is found in a distinct context and with a certain purpose. His stories are not often detailed in their accounts of violence but discreet. God does not include violence in His narrative in order to entertain an audience or to satisfy a thirst for action and violence. If you hate violence then you will be more likely to handle it with greater care in your films.

We will ask the question, is the violence portrayed within a proper context? Films with gratuitous violence (violence just for the sake of violence as a production device for the purpose of entertainment but not necessary to tell the story) will not impress our judges. Before submitting your Film ask, “Does it promote a love for violence?” or “Is this designed to create an unhealthy appetite in the viewer?”

Consider the following excerpt from the 1930 Production Code, “No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin. This is done: 1. When evil is made to appear attractive and alluring, and good is made to appear unattractive. 2. When the sympathy of the audience is thrown on the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil, sin. The same is true of a film that would throw sympathy against goodness, honor, innocence, purity or honesty. Note: Sympathy with a person who sins is not the same as sympathy with the sin or crime of which he is guilty. We may feel sorry for the plight of the murderer or even understand the circumstances which led him to his crime: we may not feel sympathy with the wrong which he has done. The presentation of evil is often essential for art or fiction or drama. This in itself is not wrong provided: a) That evil is not presented alluringly. Even if later in the film the evil is condemned or punished, it must not be allowed to appear so attractive that the audience’s emotions are drawn to desire or approve so strongly that later the condemnation is forgotten and only the apparent joy of sin is remembered. b) That throughout, the audience feels sure that evil is wrong and good is right.”

7. Do You Love Excellence?

In the book of Exodus we learn about Bezalel, a man chosen by God, who helped with the artistic needs of the tabernacle. This is what God revealed about his abilities, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works.” God also speaks of the other artisans by saying, “…and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you.” Bezalel was also gifted to teach others, “And He has put in his heart the ability to teach.” Filmmaking is an artistic work that takes wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and workmanship. These abilities need to come from God and He imparts them directly or through gifted teachers working with keen students.

Huram was also a noted master craftsman, “he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill in working with all kinds of bronze work.” King Solomon shared his insight about skill in Ecclesiastes when he wrote, “For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill…” It takes labor to acquire necessary skills to demonstrate excellence in your productions and we want to showcase those growing skills in Christian filmmaking. The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives the following definition of excellence, “An valuabale quality; any thing highly laudable, meritorious or virtuous, in persons, or valuable and esteemed, in things. Purity of heart, uprightness of mind, sincerity, virtue, piety, are excellencies of character; symmetry of parts, strength and beauty are excellencies of body; an accurate knowledge of an art is an excellence in the artisan; soundness and durability are excellencies in timber; fertility, in land; elegance, in writing. In short, whatever contributes to exalt man, or to render him esteemed and happy, or to bless society, is in him an excellence.”

8. Christian Worldview Film Festival’s Core Values:

Jesus Christ is preeminent.
Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.”

Humility is not an option.
Phil 2:3 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.””

Your primary call is as a disciple of Jesus.
Luke 14:33 “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”

An authentic portrayal of the world is not Godless or Christless.
Psalm 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.”

Filmmaking should not replace personal evangelism or discipleship.
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””

Fear the Lord in all things for He will judge every work.
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

Esteem others as more important than yourself.
Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Embrace critique.
Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
Ephesians 5:21 “…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Honor Christ in the entire production, not just the final product.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in love.”

The favor of the Lord is your greatest asset.
Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.”
Psalm 5:12 “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.”

Submission Deadline
Submissions must be completed by November 2nd, 2020

Submission Fees
Films under 30 minutes in length: $50 (per film)
Films over 30 minutes in length: $75 (per film)

Late Submission Deadline and Fees
Late submission must be completed by December 2nd, 2020
Films under 30 minutes in length: $100 (per film)
Films over 30 minutes in length: $150 (per film)